Europe

“Something happened a while ago”

Featured image President Trump has urged that Russia be readmitted to what is now the G-7. He stated: Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be good to have Russia back in. Whatever was it that happened “a while ago” that caused Russia to be kicked out of the G-7? I remember. Russia annexed Crimea. How long a while ago did Russia do that? »

Is “right-wing” Hungary the safest place for European Jews?

Featured image Hungary, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has become the bete noir of the American and European intellectual left. Its “illiberal democracy” (Orban is in office because two-thirds of Hungary’s electorate backed him) is the logical extension, they say, of the dangerous right-wing populism of Donald Trump, the Brexit movement, and so forth. “Populist” though it may be, Orban’s Hungary is arguably the safest place in Europe for Jews (100,000 of »

The Italian Crisis—Update

Featured image I thought I was suitably harsh about the magnitude and meaning of the Italian crisis in my post last night, but then I read the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial about it this morning: The President has now handed the populists more evidence that the elites don’t trust the Italian people. Mr. Mattarella has asked former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to form a government, but he’s unlikely to win »

The Italian Crisis—and Ours

Featured image The media and the left (but I repeat myself) are in a tizzy that democracy in America is in imminent risk of being snuffed out, because Trump is at least Mussolini, if not Hitler. This is plainly ridiculous. As has been pointed out, Hitler would have gotten The Wall built and repealed Obamacare. Still, the Washington Post trumpets their self-regarding slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” while there is a flood »

European arrogance on display

Featured image The Washington Post reports that European leaders are vexed with President Trump. Sorely vexed. Our European partners feel that Trump “delight[s] in smashing transatlantic bonds.” The situation is so dire that, according to Josef Janning of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the post-World War ties that provided the basis for Western strength and peace for 70-plus years are probably gone forever. The end of the Trump presidency won’t restore »

How to tell whether a government is authoritarian

Featured image There are a number of ways. Here’s one: If people living in the country want to be on a government’s enemies list, the government is not authoritarian. No one within the jurisdiction of an authoritarian government wants to be on its enemies list. Being on such a list isn’t healthy. One can easily end up in jail, go missing, or even be assassinated. Under non-authoritarian governments, being on an enemies »

The Italian Earthquake

Featured image Italy is known for severe earthquakes from time to time, and as Paul noted yesterday, Italy’s voters just delivered an 8.0 magnitude political earthquake. As the dust settles, it is clear this was no mere minor swing in the vote.  Henry Olsen (our podcast guest last week discussing populism in Europe) notes today: Italy had every reason to change course. Its economy has been stagnant for years. Neither centre-right nor »

Italian voters send an unmistakable message

Featured image “Italians registered their dismay with the European political establishment on Sunday, handing a majority of votes in a national election to hard-right and populist forces that ran a campaign fueled by anti-immigrant anger. The election. . .was widely seen as a bellwether of the strength of populists on the continent and how far they might advance into the mainstream. The answer was far, very far.” So reports the New York »

The German Question, Again

Featured image As noted here a few days ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel is having trouble putting together a coalition government in Germany following a terrible showing in the last election. The German result was similar to the recent French election in one respect: it represents a repudiation of the main ruling parties. There is one big difference: while the French economy continues to stagnate, the German economy is arguably the best in »

CRB: The dream and the nightmare

Featured image This morning we conclude our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books. The CRB works eloquently in every issue to further the mission of the Claremont Institute to restore the founding principles of the United States to their rightful place in our national life. In our preview of the new issue I have necessarily passed over several outstanding essays and reviews. Subscribe at the price »

The European Revolt Continues

Featured image The Czech Republic’s parliamentary election represented yet another rebellion against Europe’s political elites. The winning party, ANO, is considered centrist and won nearly 30% of the vote. Its leader, Andrej Babis, is a billionaire and has been described as a Czech Donald Trump. The Associated Press reports: The centrist ANO movement led by populist Andrej Babis decisively won the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election Saturday in a vote that shifted the »

What Is To Be Done? (European Ed.) [Updated]

Featured image Once again, Europe has been struck by Islamic terrorism. In Barcelona, a van plowed into a crowd on one of the city’s most popular streets, Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 100. The driver of the van escaped. Shortly thereafter in Cambrils, a short distance south of Barcelona, five terrorists went on a second spree, killing one person and wounding dozens more in a vehicle attack before »

By European Standards, Macron Is Courageous

Featured image During the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron didn’t impress me. He seemed like the mother country’s version of Justin Trudeau. But earlier this month, he scandalized proper opinion in the EU with some straight talk about Africa: At a G20 summit press conference in Hamburg on July 8, French President Emmanuel Macron answered a call for an African “Marshall Plan” from a Cote d’Ivoire journalist. Macron’s stern, clear-eyed rebuff to »

Europe balks at Russia sanctions; Trump won’t veto them

Featured image President Trump has decided not to veto the Russia sanctions legislation passed by Congress. The decision was probably an easy one inasmuch as (1) a veto would easily have been overridden, resulting in embarrassment for the president and (2) it would have added fuel to Trump-Russia connection stories. Naturally, Russia is angry about the sanctions. Europe is also unhappy, which is ironic because some European leaders have criticized Trump for »

Poland, Trump, and the clash of civilizations

Featured image How long ago was it that President Trump gave his speech in Poland? To me, it seems like months, so much having happened since. Actually it was less than three weeks. The speech was excellent, a high point of the Trump presidency in my view. Our friend Grant Starrett wrote about it in this op-ed for the Tennessean. Grant pointed out that Trump’s speech, which identified the “fundamental question of »

They’ll always have Paris

Featured image What should we make of last week’s love fest in Paris between President Trump and French President Macron? On the surface, it was improbable. In the French election just a few months ago, Trump seemed more favorably disposed towards Marine Le Pen than towards Macron. And Trump did the unthinkable, from the French perspective, when he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Macron responded by attempting to ridicule »

Europe’s childless leaders

Featured image James McPherson, writing in the Washington Examiner, makes a remarkable observation: the leaders of Europe have no children. France’s Emmanuel Macron has none. Same with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British prime minister Theresa May, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentilon, Holland’s Mark Rutte, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven has no biological children. The prime minister of Luxembourg is also childless. »